Thursday, February 03, 2005

Lara the loser

Discovered this while surfing around cricinfo. It's about which player has been part of most Test match winning sides and little bits of trivia (or statistics) like that.

Now, Steve Waugh is an obvious guess as the player to have been part of most winning teams. Who is next? Shane Warne, Mark Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Viv Richards, Desmond Haynes and so on. The most drawn matches list is headed by Indians Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar...again, not too tough to guess if you took a minute to work the configurations out.

But it's the 'losers' section that is so, so confounding. Alec Stewart - a Pom, wow!- heads the list with 54 games. But coming a close second at 51 is Brian Lara. And how sad is that?

Of course, there's the whole romance attatched to being a hero in so many losing causes and being that eternally-sympathised-with character. And, very importantly, winning and losing don't often reflect much more than just that...winning and losing that is.

Whether Lara plays those stunning, etheral knocks to help his team win doesn't really make a difference. That he plays the way he does is good enough.

It's not the same with someone like Sachin Tendulkar...who needs to be part of a winning outfit to be great. The fact that he has won so few matches for India despite reaching all those major landmarks will, in the final analysis, have to count against him.

Not so for Lara. He's far too beautiful a work of art to be part of any statistical analysis.

But still, despite all that romantic nonsense, it remains a fact that Lara's name really shouldn't be so high in the losers' category. Nope, not on. And since things don't look like turning around in the near future, it's pretty certain that Lara will eventually cross Stewart at that 54 mark.